A Scholar's Tour
of Selected Works at Forest Hills Cemetery

In 2005, the Trust received a grant from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities to underwrite a four month scholar in residence program with Elise Ciregna in 2005. Elise focused her work on interpreting the cultural meaning of selected memorials. She investigated how the cemetery's beautifully carved stones express and embody Victorian attitudes about family and social relationships, life and death, sentiment and fashion. She examined the cemetery as an extension of domestic space,offering 19th century Bostonians the comfort of a final home where the living could visit the dead and the dead could stay together. She looked at the ways the layouts and memorial furnishings of family lots echo the architecture and furniture of private homes. She researched some of the lot owners, and found that some lots are arranged in neighborhoods of family, friends, and business colleagues. Some of the results of her research are incorporated into this Scholar's Tour. We invite you to travel along with Elise as your guide on a virtual tour of some of the many historic treasures to be found at Forest Hills.